Pus, Earwax, and
By today's standards, Hippocrates was a profoundly abnormal physician. Medicine's founding father routinely tasted his patients' urine, sampled their pus and earwax, and smelled and scrutinized their stool. He assessed the stickiness of their sweat and examined their blood, their phlegm, their tears, and their vomit. He became closely acquainted with their general disposition, family, and home, and he studied their facial expressions. In deciding upon a final diagnosis and treatment, Hippocrates considered dietary habits, the season, the local prevailing winds, the water supply at the patient's residence, and the direction the home faced....
Modern-day physicians often cringe or shake their heads when they hear descriptions of Hippocrates' diagnostic methods; laypeople, however wonder aloud at how nice it might be to have Hippocrates as their doctor.

--- David H. Newman
Hippocrates' Shadow:
Secrets from the
House of Medicine

©2009 Simon & Schuster
As quoted in The Sun Magazine
January 2011
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